Monday, February 9, 2009

surprise snow and shunning

This morning I walked down the hall to the living room, only to look outside and see about 2" of snow on the ground. This startled me enough that I actually jumped a little, I was certainly not expecting to see snow again this winter! I took this picture with my iPhone after letting the dogs out to potty, as there is also a full moon out right now and it looked really gorgeous with the snow. Amazingly, shortly after I took this photo the snowplows came through, which is not a normal occurrence but was welcome nonetheless. The snow apparently started late last night, as Chris had left me a note telling me he had no problem with me taking the car to work. The weather people are calling for more snow tonight, so we'll have to figure out what to do about that - perhaps I can go pick up Chris' work computer so he can work from home tonight.

In other weirdness, last night nearly all of 228th street was closed off for police activity, from 9th down near the Extended Stay all the way up to Meridian. We had to go out and around Country Village to get home. Nothing is showing up on the internet as to why that much of the road was shut down in clear weather, so I am rather curious.

I found a story in the Seattle Times this morning describing how Abbotsford BC is using shunning to combat gang violence. This is a town just over the border into Canada, where we often travel for flyball tournaments and where many of our Canadian flyball friends live, so that makes it more interesting to me personally. However, the real value is in the fact that a whole town is using social pressure to convince the gangs to leave. I firmly believe that shunning and public shame are woefully underutilized tools in this day and age, and that much bad behavior runs rampant because nobody is willing to call the wrongdoers out. It used to be shameful to behave poorly, now it is practically a badge of honor amongst certain social groups and that is such a toxic thing for society, it's unreal. While lifting the stigmas against needing legitimate social help or having a mental illness are excellent things for society, unfortunately too many people have taken this too far and now feel no shame about gaming the system for as much "free stuff" as they can get. In this case, I hope that the public social pressure does indeed convince these hoodlums to leave town, which would be a great success and example for many other such towns across north America.

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